The history of the italian NGS network initiative is short, but explosive. It is imperative for the life science community to be prepared for the enormous growth in NGS data, the challenges this presents, and the opportunities it affords. Recognising these issues, and the need for global cooperation, gave birth to the idea for this COST Action proposal. It developed into the concerted action of today, as follows:

  • The Proposer of this Action, Dr. Erik Bongcam-Rudloff, and Drs. Andreas Gisel, Eija Korpelainen and Peter Rice were members of Work Package 4 (WP4) “Test Cases” in the FP6 Network of Excellence (NoE) EMBRACE. Many of the Test Cases collected by WP4 involved problems relating to the use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies.
  • Awareness of the problems identified in WP4 motivated the “WP4 group” to organise a initial workshop, we decided to form a Task Force including Erik Bongcam-Rudloff, Tiziana Castrignano, Eija Korpelainen, Inge Jonassen, Graziano Pesole, Nils-Einar Eriksson, Etienne deVilliers, Andreas Gisel, Laurent Falquet, JR Valverde and Gert Vriend.
  • Via www.nextgenerationsequencing.org we organized on November 18-20 2009 in Rome at CASPUR and in collaboration with BITS the first workshop and hack-a-thon working on all practical details aiming at an audience of Bioinformaticians interested in issues relating to the management and analysis of NGS data. A comprehensive report on this workshop is available at: http://journal.embnet.org/index.php/embnetnews/article/view/60/207
  • The acuteness of the issues raised in the workshop led the Task Force to write a COST pre-proposal. The pre-proposal was written by 6 partners, in consultation with several of the workshop participants, who had indicated their interest in joining the COST Action if it were funded.
  • In May 2010, we were invited to prepare a full proposal.
  • Encouraged by the success of the 1st workshop, a 2nd was organised on 16-17 June, in Bari, Italy (see the website www.nextgenerationsequenceing.org for the programme, etc.).
  • The Bari meeting had multiple purposes. It was both a workshop to exchange ideas and information, and a platform to discuss the structure of, and ideas for, the full COST proposal; new partners among the participants were invited to join the Action, and they drew our attention to colleagues not present at the meeting but who would likely be interested to join. See for the report at: http://journal.embnet.org/index.php/embnetjournal/article/view/176/382
  • The full proposal passed successfully the following steps and beginning December 2010 the COST Action was officially approved
  • Meanwhile 12 countries signed the MoU and the kick-off-meeting will take place end of March or beginning of April